Even A Political Consultant Feels Something ...


A reader writes:

I've just read the 24-year old college grad who shouldn't be prone to the moment.  As a peer of his, I'm 27, and as someone who works to create such "moments" (I'm a political media consultant) I also shouldn't be prone to "the moment."  And yet, like your reader, I am filled with a feeling I have rarely felt in my 7 years in politics: hope. Real hope, not manufactured hope or a belief that hope will manifest itself "later."

Your reader wrote, "Why, then, do I get sucked in by Obama?" Why? Because deep down this is what we all want.  From the earliest days of elementary school American history we are taught of the American dream. Of how this great experiment in self-rule was built on the hopes and dreams of the founding generation. This country is their dream, a living dream, more so than any other country is the dream of their founders.

In kindergarten we dream of being astronauts, firemen, ballerinas, super heroes and, yes, presidents.  Dreaming is our national narrative, it is one of the most basic things that makes us human and not animal.  We yearn to dream with our leaders.

President Bush never seemed to dream, and drew his power from our fears instead of hopes.  His predecessor seemed to be a dreamer, but never asked us to dream.  Nor did Bush the first.  After 19 years - a lifetime for many first-time voters -  we want what our American history text books promised us: we want to dream.  That's why we're drawn to Obama.

Whenever I hear Obama speak the way he did in Boston in 2004, at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in Iowa or during his victory speech on caucus night I dream.

(Photos: Jim Reany and Chip Somodevilla/Getty.)